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4A Softball: Marist Takes Nine-Inning Thriller from Sandburg in Sectional Semifinal

Marist 6, Sandburg 5: Maggie Gorman's bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning snapped a 5-5 deadlock as the RedHawks edged the Eagles Friday in sectional semifinal play in Orland Park.

Touching All the Bases: While nearly everyone around her was going crazy, Maggie Gorman somehow managed to stay clam before connecting for a game-winning RBI single in Marist’s 6-5 nine-inning softball victory over Sandburg on Friday afternoon in Orland Park.

The RedHawks loaded the bases with nobody out against Eagle pitching ace Amanda Barna in an epic semifinal battle in the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional. Gorman’s sense of calm came from the feeling Marist was in the driver’s seat. She said if she didn't get a hit, another one of the RedHawks would have delivered the goods.

Gorman ripped Barna’s first pitch down the left field line. The ball had grand slam written all over it—but hooked foul. Then, with an 0-1 count, Gorman went the other way with an outside pitch. Her single to right scored Brooke Wyderski and snapped a 5-5 deadlock. The game-winning hit was Gorman’s first of her high school career.

Patch’s MVP: Maggie Gorman, senior right fielder, Marist. She went 2-for-4 and drove in the game-winning run for the RedHawks in the bottom of the ninth.

Bombs Away: Sandburg’s Sarah Herold hit a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left field. Her blast briefly knocked the power out on the scoreboard and capped a five-run sixth-inning explosion that put the Eagles ahead 5-3. Marist’s Brooke Wyderski answered with a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth.

Web gems: Sandburg’s Sarah Herold made a running catch in foul territory of a ball hit down the right field line by Marist’s Brooke Wilson in the bottom of the third. Marist turned two double plays to back winning pitcher Kristin Klutcharch (15-11).

Sandburg Leaders: Karissa Kouchis (2-for-5, 1 run), Ellie Forkin (3-for-4, 1 RBI), Karli McLaughlin (1-for-3, 1 RBI), Sarah Herald (1-for-4, 3-run homer, 3 RBIs).

Marist Leaders: Nicole Babrowski (2-for-3, 2 runs), Brooke Wyderski (3-for-4, triple, homer, 3 RBIs), Maggie Gorman (2-for-4, 1 RBI).

Quotable I: “It was outside, and I just went with it,” Marist’s Maggie Gorman said of the pitch she hit for a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth. “I just hoped it was going through. The ball down the left line? I thought it was fair. Then, my coach made me go back and I was a little sad.”

Quotable II: “Yeah, I just wanted to get our team back,” Marist’s Brooke Wyderski said of her mindset after Sandburg took a 5-3 lead in the sixth. “We all wanted to win so badly. We did whatever we could to make that happen.”

Quotable III: “There were many games this year where we were down 3-1 or 3-2 or 3-0 and we never came back,” Sandburg coach Jim Fabianski said. “And the sixth inning has been our worst inning all year. Today, we ended up with five runs in the sixth inning. The kids showed a lot of fortitude.”

Team Records: Marist is 23-15. Sandburg finishes 21-16.

What’s Next: Marist faces Mother McAuley at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 2, in the championship game of the Class 4A Sandburg Sectional. Mother McAuley advanced with an 8-0 victory over Richards.

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